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PROFILES

SFJAZZ: Decades After, Five Years In

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Five years after the jny: San Francisco, California organization SFJAZZ created its own building, the SFJAZZ Center, it has proved a raving, even rampaging, success, unrelenting in programming, sales, education, and music production. Its number of concerts has doubled from 248 to more than 500. Its membership has increased by almost 200% to more than 14,000. It moves a million dollars worth of tickets in the first week its box office opens; some shows sell out to members even before ...

INTERVIEWS

George Wein: A Life and Legend in Jazz

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Last summer, in June of 2017, I had the privilege and opportunity to interview George Wein, founder and producer of the seminal Newport Jazz Festival. At 91, he was just in the process of supporting and transitioning the new artistic director Christian McBride into this demanding and critical role for the future of the Newport Jazz Festival, to ensure the continuation of the legacy. The impact of this festival has been historically felt by the jazz community for its breadth ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Igor Willcox Quartet: Live!

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Live! is an unrelenting coup of a performance, an in-your-face and out-of your-seat statement, and one hell of a very hot disc -non-stop Euro fusion and jazz funk. Brazilian drummer Igor Willcox opens the gate and leads his indefatigable quartet of virtusosi -relentless bassist Glecio Nascimento, Jan Hammer influenced keyboardist Vini Morales, and free-blowing Clayton Sousa on sax -through a high-octane celebration of living and joyful playing. One can immediately see and hear that Willcox doesn't mince words ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Haynes & Free Country: My Favorite Things(1960-1969)

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There have been several jazz projects that looked back at the popular music of the 1960's, but none have been as all-encompassing as what drummer Phil Haynes and his band Free Country do here. They touch on Baby Boomer favorites like Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and James Brown, but their sweep of the Sixties is wide enough to also bring in Leonard Bernstein and John Coltrane. This quartet of guitar, cello, bass and drums is extremely flexible in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ben Geyer: The Acadian Orogeny

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Pianist Ben Geyer is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of West Georgia. Previously he taught music theory and aural skills at Oberlin College Conservatory and has a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Kentucky. Geyer's research focuses on issues of temporality (time) in jazz, and his dissertation is called “Meter, Phrase, and Form in the Compositions of Maria Schneider." Geyer's debut album The Narrative ('18) was released in ...

MIXCLOUD

Coffee and Croissants with Oddgier Berg

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In this episode, special guest pianist Oddgeir Berg talks about his trio's album Before Dawn [Ozella Music] and the strength and depth of the Finnish jazz scene. The playlist includes lots of new music from artists like Cloudmakers 5 through to Nat Birchall. Playlist Cloudmakers 5 “The Past Is Another Country" from Chinese Butterfly (Whirlwind) 2:07 Cody Carpenter “Face the Future" from Cody Carpenter's Interdependence (Blue Canoe Records) 12:37 Brenda Navarrete “Anana Oye" from Mi Munda (Alma ...

RECORD LABEL PROFILES

WEWANTSOUNDS: A Forgotten Don Cherry and Other Gems

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A forgotten gem from the extensive and multi-colored discography of Don Cherry is available again, courtesy of the French label WEWANTSOUNDS [yes, their name is uppercase only!]. Home Boy, Sister Out, produced by Ramuntcho Matta, was originally released in 1985 on Barclay Records. It was distributed in France and Germany only and was never reissued until now. Funky and fourth-world tinged, with strong influences from the new wave scene of those years, this amazing record reflects not only ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Ten Men

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My unscientific estimate contends that there are three female vocalists for every male vocalist. This does not mean that there are no male vocalists out there as evidenced by these ten examples. They just take a little longer to accumulate. Jay Leonhart and Tomoko Ohno Don't You Wish Chancellor Music 2017 Jay Leonhart is a known entity. He is a well-known bassist and singer, and as he proves on Don't You Wish ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Isaiah Stewart

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About Isaiah Stewart Since the release of his debut album Life Games in 2000, Isaiah Stewart has emerged as a unique indy voice in contemporary urban jazz-funk. Seeking to carry on classic “old school" jazz/R&B traditions, the versatile drummer's hard-grooving yet fluid music has led to a total of five albums and nearly 10 million downloads and streams worldwide. Isaiah's new album Summer Beat features multi-Grammy jazz icons Randy Brecker, Eumir Deodato and Tom Scott, along ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duende Libre: Drift

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Duende Libre is an energetic trio of Seattle musicians utilizing the American jazz tradition as a jumping off point for exploration of global musical forms. The creative vision for the band is perhaps that of pianist/composer Alex Chadsey, yet it is his two mates, drummer/percussionist Jeff Busch, and uber bassist Farko Dosumov that bring his musical vision to life. Chadsey sets the bar high for this band by including the term “duende" as part of its moniker. While ...